The death of her godfather inspired her to fight off bulimia and anorexia – which saw her binging and purging on a daily basis. Valentina Homberg, from Wuppertal, Germany, was naturally slim despite her love for food.
But concerned friends and family would constantly comment on her petite body frame.
The 23-year-old’s family stopped making remarks as her body started changing and she started picking up weight after puberty hit.
Missing all the attention she received from loved ones, the student quickly signed up to the nearest gym and only consumed a meagre 150 calories a day.
After her parents noticed her dramatic weight loss, it sparked huge arguments between them.
Recovering from anorexia and bulimia is by far the hardest thing I have ever done and been through. Kind of like someone terrified of spiders being trapped in a room with them for months. Food (except b/p)and weight gain was my phobia. A phobia it was crucial to beat in order to live. Eating disorders are not a decision or a lifestyle, neither they're a diet gone wrong, but serious terrible mental illnesses that could cause death eventually. I was spiralling towards an early death at only 21. Low bone density, bad blood samples, hair falling out etc etc ! Nevertheless, it is the mental aspects that are the worst ??This comes regardless of your physical health ??One can be normal weight or overweight yet be trapped in the mental prison of an eating disorder????There is no magical cure for eating disorders. You simply have to face your fears multiple times a day. There'll be days when you think you're fine and close to be recovered but then all the sudden it hits you back, you're sitting in front of your lunch you were excited to have about before, start shaking and crying. Other days you can't go a minute without thinking about food even if you've just enjoyed your breakfast. You start binging until you can hardly breath and move anymore and purge all day long afterwards till you fall asleep on your bathroom floor since you're so exhausted. You wanna give up, might feel like every time you've conquered before has been in vain and you're a stupid loser that is not able to handle life. But dont! You have to eat, rest, eat, rest. It is impossible to recover if you still restrict and control your intake. Your brain changes for the better once you re-nourish yourself. Always do the exact opposite of what your eating disorder tells you. If you fear having that bar of chocolate, have two. If you feel guilty for skipping the gym, make yourself comfortable at home. If you feel like running to the next grocery store and spending all your money on binges, call a friend and talk about what is ACTUALLY bothering you instead of trying to numb your feelings by binging and purging. Seek help and support. Recovery is possible, and so, so worth it??@amalielee
Things took a turn for the worst when the teen went on an exchange program in America. Valentina started binging so much that she struggled to breathe and would secretly purge by forcing herself to throw up.
“When I turned 16, I went to the US as a foreign exchange student. That’s when I relapsed from anorexia to bulimia.
I felt very lonely because I got treated very bad by my host family so I tried to escape by binging on food,” she says In 2015 after the 23-year-old moved into her own little apartment, she started obsessively exercising for several hours a day and consumed only a few calories.
Because of her fixation with dieting and working out, she avoided going to all social events and even lied to her family about what she tucked into – by sending them pictures of food she simply never ate. At her lowest, Valentina weighed a mere 44 kg.
“I was depressed, sad, hungry and tired 24/7 but most of all I was lonely, on some days I did not even have energy to get up at night and go to the bathroom,” she says.
But when her godfather unexpectedly passed away, the brunette beauty knew she had to make a drastic lifestyle change. “I realised that I'm not able to change my past but my future is still open.
I knew he wouldn’t want me to start starving myself again so I immediately stopped starving, binging and purging,” she says. Valentina is now a fit and healthy 63 kg and learning to love with her new curvier body. “I don’t care that much anymore.
I feel good because I'm able to love others and be loved by others again,” says Valentina. Since making her incredible recovery, she now encourages others with eating disorders.
“Recovery is only possible if you want it. You’ll never be able to fully recover when you only want to recover for others.
“You have to realise that being skinny or sick will never make you happy or popular,” she says.